Recently Rural/Metro Fire Department in San Tan Valley has seen a rash of near drowning calls. These potentially tragic and highly emotional calls for service impact the entire community and can all be prevented with adult supervision. Historically speaking San Tan Valley has had higher than normal incidents of child drownings. In virtually every case, a child was left unattended and was able to slip into a pool, or other body of water. At Rural/Metro we believe a “layered” approach to water safety is the best way to stay safe around water. This approach includes the use of physical barriers like locks and fences as well as pool covers and alarms. Rural/Metro also encourages everyone to learn life saving Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR, and start children swim lessons at an early age. Adults should never let children swim alone and never allow children to monitor children in the pool. Always designate a sober, adult to keep an eye on the kids in the pool. There have been fatal drowning calls in San Tan Valley where adults have been in and around the pool, just unaware that a child had slipped under the surface.
When a person drowns there is little or no noise. Hollywood has always portrayed a drowning person as one who is thrashing his or her arms and screaming for help. This could not be farther from the truth. In reality, a drowning victim can slip underwater completely undetected. Drowning is truly a silent killer. It is imperative that direct eye supervision is maintained any time a child is in, or near, the pool. This summer in San Tan Valley there have been cases where children and adults have been found floating, face down and unresponsive in pools. If it were not for the quick action of family and alert bystanders who were willing to take action and pull someone out of the water, these incidents would have resulted in death or serious and prolonged mental and physical deficits.
This summer take a break from your normal routine. Talk about water safety with those in your home. Inspect your barriers, review pool rules, talk to your children about water safety and invest a few hours of your life to save a life. Enroll in a CPR class and sign the children up for swim lessons.
Drowning incidents affect everyone in the community. Once a 911 dispatcher receives a call for a water related emergency a significant number of first responders jump into action. Law enforcement often times arrive on the scene first, followed by firefighters and EMS personnel. Depending on the severity, a medical helicopter crew is often times called. Once at the hospital the patient is treated by dozens of medical professionals. If fatal, the Medical Examiner is contacted. If a child is involved, school officials are notified and neighborhoods quickly learn of the tragedy. Churches and faith based communities are almost always involved. Immediate and extended families are devastated. The scares of losing a child or loved ones in a drowning incident never heal. Guilt, blame and questions persist. Drowning incidents affect everyone in the community.
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Your homeowner’s insurance does not cover the cost of fire department service fees. Don’t pay substantial fee-for-service costs. To activate your membership today and to view your current membership rate register for our new member web portal at membership.ruralmetro.com. Remember, we’re the only local fire protection and emergency service provider in your area and we’re supported through membership fees, not tax dollars.
Call Rural/Metro Fire at 1-800-624-5835, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST or email firstname.lastname@example.org.